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The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the nation’s oldest international nonprofit whose mission is to champion walkable urbanism. The Congress is the premier international placemaking event, convening diverse, interdisciplinary urbanists and placemakers from all 50 states and dozens of countries to exchange ideas and discover the cutting edge of what is going on across the fields of planning, urban design, architecture, transportation, housing, and the public realm.
We are taking CNU 28.Twin Cities online to host the 28th annual Congress June 10-13, 2020 virtually due to the current public health crisis caused by COVID-19. While much of the program will remain as planned, we will be adding new sessions that directly address the current public health crisis and how it is impacting the work of New Urbanists across the world. CNU staff, members, and speakers are working quickly to transform sessions and Congress components into a virtual format. CNU 28.A Virtual Gathering is expected to have between 55-70 programmed sessions. We are planning on maintaining the vast majority of sessions that have been planned for the in-person gathering while at the same time adding some new sessions to best address current conditions.
Congress programming is varied and accessible to urbanists and members of the public at any level of knowledge and understanding of New Urbanism. Click here to register.
What is New Urbanism?
New Urbanism is a planning and development approach based on the principles of how cities and towns had been built for the last several centuries: walkable blocks and streets, housing and shopping in close proximity, and accessible public spaces. In other words: New Urbanism focuses on human-scaled urban design.
The principles, articulated in the Charter of the New Urbanism, were developed to offer alternatives to the sprawling, single-use, low-density patterns typical of post-WWII development, which have been shown to inflict negative economic, health, and environmental impacts on communities.
These design and development principles can be applied to new development, urban infill and revitalization, and preservation. They can be applied to all scales of development in the full range of places including rural Main Streets, booming suburban areas, urban neighborhoods, dense city centers, and even entire regions. Read more HERE.
DOWNLOADABLE CORE SESSIONS
Core sessions are in-depth primers on the history, principles, tools, and concepts of New Urbanism, geared toward first-time Congress attendees or attendees who’d like to know the basics of a specific subject area. These pre-recorded sessions provide Congress participants with the opportunity to hear from founding members and experts on New Urbanism accessible at any time.
INSPIRING PLENARY SESSIONS
Plenary sessions bring the entire Congress together for a shared experience. They feature innovative and expert practitioners detailing the latest advances in urbanism.
LIVE BREAKOUT SESSIONS
Breakout sessions are the concurrent sessions that generally take place throughout the Congress, organized around several tracks or themes. At the Virtual Gathering, breakout sessions will continue to make up the heart of Congress programming, but will be formatted to include more intimate conversations and live, moderated Q&A. Breakout offerings include sessions for first time attendees and seasoned New Urbanists alike, allowing you to create an agenda that suits you.
ENGAGING ART ROOM SESSIONS
Traditionally, the CNU Art Room features up-close or hands-on workshops to help you hone your skills. For the Virtual Gathering, CNU will offer sessions for attendees interested in learning design, sketching, illustration, photography, and other techniques from New Urbanism’s leading practitioners. Sessions will feature interactive drawing. Participants of all skill levels are welcome—no prior illustration or design experience is needed.
MEMBER-LED, MEET-UPS, AND SOCIAL EVENTS
A core component of the Congress experience, CNU will reserve two hours each day for formal and informal member gatherings, conversations, and networking opportunities. Attendees interested in organizing a gathering during these time blocks to discuss a particular issue, initiative, or idea, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org by May 25 to reserve a timeslot. Additionally, CNU will host a formal networking event - Urban Roulette Conversations - on Wednesday evening for participants. More details to come.
NEW URBAN RESEARCH
Since 2008, CNU has showcased innovative academic work at our annual Congress, offering select academics and researchers an opportunity to present their work. Learn more HERE.
The CNU Charter Awards ceremony will be held Friday, June 12 and will recognize exemplary work in architectural, landscape, urban, and regional design, as defined by the Charter of the New Urbanism. The Charter defines the essential qualities of walkable, sustainable places from the scale of the region down to the block and building. Launched in 2001, the CNU Charter Awards have honored projects from Andorra to South Africa, Beijing to San Antonio. Learn more about this year's awards, and past winners HERE.
OPEN INNOVATION (OI)
OI sessions consist bring innovative topics to attendees with a unique format of multiple speakers (5-8 per session). Presentations take place in a "lightning round" to allow different perspectives to be delivered back-to-back.